NUSA DUA, Indonesia: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Thursday to attend Asian security talks and prepare a visit by President Barack Obama in November.
Clinton will meet her counterparts from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the wider East Asia Summit on Friday.
On Saturday, she will take part in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) security dialogue which includes foreign ministers from ASEAN as well as China, Japan, the Koreas, Russia and Australia.
Issues such as territorial disputes in the South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear programme, the Thai-Cambodia border dispute and human rights in Myanmar are expected to be discussed in the course of the meetings.
Clinton will also be laying the groundwork for Obama's visit to Indonesia in November for the East Asia Summit leadership meeting, which will be the first time a US president has attended the forum.
Clinton's visit comes after China and Southeast Asian nations announced a “breakthrough” in drawn-out talks on their overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The countries endorsed a set of guidelines designed to reduce tensions in the strategic waterway and create an atmosphere conducive to the eventual adoption of a binding code of conduct.
China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan all have overlapping claims to parts of the South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits and home to shipping lanes vital to global trade.
Clinton riled the Chinese delegation at the last ARF in Hanoi a year ago when she stated that it was in the United States' “national interest” to keep those shipping routes open for business.